Monday, January 11, 2010

Design tip ... orchid

A deep cranberry colored shawl warms up a
bookcase in the corner of our dining room.

Now that the holidays are a distant memory, I figured it was time to freshen up my interiors with a new indoor plant. I’ve mentioned before how much I appreciate the orchid as a quick design statement. They’re simple and elegant, the perfect antidote to the decorating over-indulgences of the past few months.

Brazilian Teak

A Georgia O’Keefe-inspired close-up

My husband and I made a trip to our local home improvement store on Friday night after a nice dinner out with friends. We were in search of some pre-finished flooring options for the new bedroom. I brought home a sample of Brazilian Teak – which is not so dark that it will show every speck of dust, but still deep enough in tone to offset what will be creamy white walls. I also picked up this lovely orchid for a mere $15 (they often go for around $40). It was sold in a 4-inch clay pot which I then popped into my blue urn that most recently held a large spray of evergreens.

I had to build up the bottom of the urn with some crumpled tinfoil to set the smaller pot at the right height. Then I used moss around the base of the orchid to hide the gap between the small 4-inch pot and the larger width of the urn. I happened to have still-very-green moss that I had transplanted to pots from my backyard in mid-October to use for visual merchandising at Beth’s shop. When dried, it forms a soft and natural carpet that is easy to move.

Art by Beth Hylan

I love how moss hides the dirt that is usually exposed with indoor gardening. If you would like to achieve the same results and do not have access to live moss, most garden supply stores sell bags of spagnum moss that will easily take care of several pots. I have even used fake moss that comes in sheets at craft stores. The real deal, however, is by far my favorite. Just topping off your existing houseplants with moss (or your outdoor container gardens, if you are in a warm climate) adds designer polish in an instant.
Give it a try!

I thought this butterfly clip used to secure the
stem of the new orchid was very clever.

Endnote: Congratulations to my friend, Kim Smith, who eloquently wrote and joyfully illustrated Notes From a Gloucester Garden, which was recently listed by Carol Stocker of the Boston Globe as one of the best gardening books of 2009. You can almost see my personal copy in the first photo of today’s post (it is to the right of the blue photo album).

Now is a great time, especially for New Englander’s like myself, to start researching garden design plans for spring. Kim offers many tips on choosing plants based on scent, color, texture and even desired ambiance. Her stories about creating her garden are a pleasure to read, and the watercolor illustrations make me want to get out a paintbrush!

Gardening, whether inside or out, honors the beauty of nature and provides visual joy with little effort (how many things can you stick in the dirt and expect it to get better with time?) If you struggle with a “I-kill-anything-green” attitude, remember, you can always start with moss (no watering required!)

1 comment:

  1. I have a fake orchid in my dining room and it really looks great in the space. They are so fun to use!


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